Consumer Tech

By Beth Blecherman | #Tech updates and #trends from #CES and what's new in Consumer Electronics

How Amazon's Echo went from a smart speaker to the center of your home

When Amazon first introduced the Echo back in 2014, it was pitched primarily as a smart speaker, promising a way to control your music with your voice and little else.<p>But then, the Alexa virtual agent that powers the Echo got more and more capable — evolving from a novelty into the de facto …

Automation

Apple Said to Aim for Trial Production of Micro-LED Displays by End of 2017

A new report posted by <i>DigiTimes</i> today has taken a look into the micro-LED ambitions of multiple companies, including the timeline by which Apple might begin its trial production of micro-LED displays. Although it's yet to be confirmed, Apple is likely to use such display technology on a version of …

Apple

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo -- 6 months later

The gap has closed between the Google Home and the Amazon Echo for voice assistant supremacy just 6 months after the Home's release. Which will be crowned the Prizefight champion?

Google Home

Ikea’s smart light bulbs will work with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant

Ikea’s smart light bulbs will answer to voice commands starting this summer. The company announced in a Swedish-language press release that its smart lighting product line, called Trådfri, will work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri and HomeKit.<p>Right now, Trådfri can only be …

Home Automation

How to set up a DIY home security system

3 ways to protect your house<p>You don't have to invest in a multimillion dollar surveillance system to keep an eye on your property and possessions. In fact, you might be able to do the job with gadgets you already own, paired with free software. We've collected three types of systems you can pick …

Smart Homes

Here's everything Apple is rumoured to be launching in 2017

Apple is notoriously secretive.<p>The Californian technology giant almost <i>never</i> speaks about upcoming products before they're officially announced. Journalists who ask about rumours and reports might get told "no comment" — if they're lucky enough to get a response at all.<p>But for all its mystery, it …

Apple

Lowe's unveils augmented reality app for in-home projects

Dive Brief:<p>Lowe's has announced its latest Lowe’s Vision mobile app, which leverages Google’s Tango augmented reality technology on the Lenovo Phab 2 …

Augmented Reality

Dog Parker is an internet-connected doghouse for high-tech hounds

Dog theft is a national scourge. Dogs are disappearing everywhere and there is no end to in sight to the epidemic. While most dogs leave of their own accord – they are learning to loathe us – those who don’t wish to lose their pups on the go can use DogParker.<br>DogParker is a lockbox for your dog. …

Internet of Things

Immotor’s high-tech scooter can also charge your laptop

Immotor is a slick, three-wheeled scooter that doesn’t need a kickstand. It’s decked out with speakers, cruise control and autonomous following. You can go as fast as 17mph and as slow as 3mph. Not only will the modular battery not explode, it can also charge your electronics.

Gear & Gadgets

Microsoft's new Surface Pro has 13.5 hours of battery life and LTE option

Available on June 15th starting at $799<p>Microsoft is launching a new Surface Pro today, and it’s dropping its numbering scheme as a result. While many were expecting a Surface Pro 5, Microsoft’s new tablet / laptop hybrid is simply the Surface Pro from now on. At first glance, the new Surface Pro …

Microsoft

Android Go: The Details Google Didn’t Reveal During the Keynote

With a little help from Google's VP of Product management for Android and Google Play, Sameer Samat, we answer all your questions about Android Go.

The Android app beta on Chrome OS will last at least through the summer

In the future, Android may be updated faster on Chromebooks than on phones<p>The Chromebook Pro was meant to be a grand coming-out party for Android apps running on Chrome OS. The Samsung device would show Google’s ability to not just dominate the education space with web apps, but remove the “native …

Google

Does Android Wear Have a Future?

Does Android Wear Have a Future?<p>Long delayed and increasingly restricted, Android Wear has an uncertain future.<p>I remember the precise moment I …

Wearable Tech

Apple Watch Series 3: What You Need To Know About The Next-Gen Smartwatch

The Apple Watch is selling at a record rate. Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed during the Cupertino company’s latest earnings call that Watch sales had almost doubled, year-over-year, and that Apple’s wearables business was the size of a Fortune 500 company.<p>But while the Series 2 model is selling like …

Smartwatches

What’s the Best Smart Thermostat for You? The Ultimate Guide

Amazon.com; ecobee.comSmart thermostats are often one of the first smart home devices people consider getting, and for good reason. Unlike some smart …

Home Automation

Apple’s AirPods are the perfect accessory to meditation apps

Provided they don’t fall out of your ears<p>Maybe I’m a little late to the hashtag-mindfulness movement, but I just recently started using a meditation app. There are plenty of articles touting the supposed benefits of meditation practices — ranging from from “charting new pathways in the brain” to …

Meditation

12 Handy Accessories for Apple iPad and iPad Pro Owners

Make the most out of your iPad or iPad Pro.<p>From a spare Lightning cable, though a keyboard cover, all the way to a carrying case for the Apple Pencil, we've rounded up some of our favorite iPad and iPad Pro accessories.

Gear & Gadgets

Away nears 100K stylish suitcases sold as it raises $20M

What do people actually want in luggage? A phone charger, unbreakable exterior, and maximum packing space at a resonable price is what Away discovered. So it built a line of sleek but expansive polycarbonite suitcases equipped with battery packs, and sold them direct-to-consumer.<p>Now after selling …

Startups

Apple pushes the reset button on the Mac Pro

“If we’ve had a pause in upgrades and updates, we’re sorry for that — what happened with the Mac Pro — and we’re going to come out with something great to replace it.”<p>Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller is talking to a small group of reporters in a white stucco building …

This is the new Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft is holding an event on Tuesday, May 23 in Shanghai, China where it will unveil a widely anticipated refresh of its Surface Pro 4 laptop-class Windows 10-powered tablet, known simply as the Surface Pro. But you won’t have to wait until then to check out the new model from all angles.<p>This …

Microsoft

Tim Cook reportedly spotted wearing a revolutionary Apple Watch prototype

Apple CEO Tim Cook will be the first to tell you — he loves the Apple Watch and its health tracking capabilities. So if there's anyone who would serve as a high-profile guinea pig for a breakthrough new feature for the device, Cook's a top candidate.<p>Which is why it may come as no surprise that Cook …

Apple

Buying a TV? Here Are 11 Things You Should Know

Smart TV. LED. OLED. 4K. HDR. The world of TVs is looking better every day, but also more confusing. Today, there's a ridiculously wide array of …

4K Ultra HD

BlindPAD’s tablet makes visual information tactile for the vision-impaired

It’s truly amazing, the wealth of information we all have at our fingertips — that is, of course, unless your fingertips are how you have to access that information. An innovative new tablet that uses magnetically configurable bumps may prove to be a powerful tool for translating information like …

Tablets

Apple Watch can detect serious heart ailment with 97% accuracy, study finds

The Apple Watch launched with quite a bit of fanfare, but the device never exactly became the revolutionary and game-changing product that some …

Smartwatches

Amazon made landline phones trendy again

When is the last time you used your landline phone? Chances are that your smartphone is the one and only device you need. Old-fashioned phones have been fading away from most living rooms. But it doesn’t mean that landline phones aren’t useful. Amazon is well aware of that.<p>The company unveiled the …

Amazon

What Are QLED TVs? Samsung's New Screen Technology Explained

In a world where OLED, LCD, HDR and a slew of other acronyms are all vying for your attention, more abbreviations just add to the confusing alphabet …

Most Americans can get internet on their TV — but they’re still mostly watching plain old TV

People who do stream online video — like Netflix — are doing so more often.<p>More than half of all Americans, or 56 percent, have the ability to watch internet video on their TVs — but they’re still watching regular TV most of the time.<p>Since 2015, there has been a 20 percentage-point increase in the …

Netflix

Why the Echo Show could be Amazon’s most disruptive product

You might want to take a close look at Amazon Echo Show, because it’s about to change everything.<p>Amazon, which is on a product-release tear, revealed on Tuesday its latest Echo device, the roughly 8 x 8-inch, 2 and a half pound, 7-inch-screen-sporting Echo Show.<p>Early leaks focused on the product’s …

Amazon

6 Smart Home Products That Can Perfect a Party

Putting technology into your home can make everyday tasks more convenient, more energy efficient and a lot more interesting. Imagine if you could add …

Home Automation